Russia halts cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Furious over the US and its allies’ response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian government said that cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan has been halted including a MI-17 helicopters supply project.

Russia’s envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti on Thursday the projects were halted. Regarding the reason which forced Moscow to halt cooperation with NATO in the war-hit country, he said, “NATO has walked away from these projects and adheres to this decision.”

The scuffle between Russian and NATO had affected the supply of helicopters to Afghanistan. Moscow has signed three contracts with the Pentagon for the supply of more than 70 Mi-17 helicopters to the Afghan army.

According to the news report published by the RIA Novosti, the first contract for the supply of 21 helicopters was signed by Rosoboronexport and the US government on May 26 2011 and has already been implemented.

In 2013, Russia completed the delivery of 12 Mi-17 under a 2012 option. That same year Rosoboronexport entered into another agreement for the supply of a batch of 30 helicopters.

Russia supplies spare parts for helicopters to the Afghan army and trains specialists on helicopters maintenance at a training center based at the Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant.

In early April, foreign ministers of NATO ceased practical civil and military cooperation with Russia because of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In June ministers extended their decision.

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